November, month of hellery – this fine Shetland dialect word that encapsulates the worse from the sky in the form of storms of any kind – enshrouded in darkness since daylight feels more and more elusive.
Hel, hell, hellery, as 2020 has never matched our expectations; held us hostage within our walls, and loved ones disappear…
Spaekalation – another fine Shetland dialect word that translates as gossip – is a raw piece written at night, as an attempt to deal with both the savagery of the sky and a sudden and an unexpected bereavement. This poem was first written in the dialect and then translated in English
Is yun a gooster or a ghoul?
Twa goggly eens i'da tree,
is yun an owl o some kind?
Ta da dare-say o'da mirken, da vaelensi is juist
dey say dat ghosts ir among wis,
waanderin, lone, aroond
wir laand - dy an
da tattie crö, barn an byre -
dey say dey travel wi da flan an da snitter,
skid juist laek bairns apö
da snaa an glerl o ice,
hide i'da white o'da moorie ta
mind da reek o chimney stacks.
Dey say dey sit by da fire atween
da caird an da wirsit -
da Slockit Licht,
crabbit embers ta keep
da memory alive.
glide alaang da waa,
listen ta da saang o'da nicht.
Is that a messy gust of wind or just a ghoul?
Two goggly eyes inside a tree,
is it an owl of some kind?
To the hear-say of dusk,
That brisk downpour has just begun;
They say that ghosts are among us,
wandering, lone, around
the land, my and
the spud corner, barn and cowshed -
they say they travel with wind gusts or biting cold air,
skid just like kids on
snow and ice,
hide in the white of a blizzard to
reminisce smoke from the stacks.
They say they sit by the fire, between
carding tool and the yarn -
dodgy embers to
Their shadows glide along
listen to the tune of
© Nat Hall 2020